Soft Paws is the most common manufacturer of cat nail caps. We have all heard about them. Some people call them feline false nails or cat claw caps. They are little plastic caps that are placed over your cat’s existing claws. They are glued down. Permanent glue is squeezed into the cap and then it is fitted over the nail. They’re meant to last from one to two months. What are the downsides of this product? I have not used them but will speculate.
One thing comes to mind immediately: a cat’s nails grow so does that cause the nail cap to fall off? Also, do cats try and remove them with their teeth? I would have thought that they might do this because they are a foreign object on the paws. A cat won’t like it. Does chewing the nail cap present a hazard to the cat? I’m thinking about whether the cat might swallow some of the plastic.
This product does not stop scratching; it just stops the cat’s claws digging into furniture so there is no damage. However, a cat derives pleasure from his claws digging into the object that he is scratching. This allows him to stretch and slough off the kerotin on his claws so as to sharpen them. How does that play out in his mind?
In addition, is a cat able to fully retract his claws when he is wearing nail caps? As far as I’m aware the cat is unable to retract his nails fully when wearing this product. Over the long term, it would seem that this restriction in natural behaviour may become uncomfortable for a cat. It would certainly feel unnatural.
Lastly, I can foresee difficulty in attaching the nail caps. Cats don’t really like people fiddling around with their feet. And if you have to add ten nail caps to his front claws it is likely that there will be difficulties. Apparently, it is recommended that an assistant is used to help you attach the caps but if your cat is aggressive or becomes aggressive then it would make sense to ask your veterinarian to do it or is that going too far?
I’m told that sometimes cats chew at the nail caps immediately after they have been fitted. If that is the case, you can’t simply put them on and forget about them. You will have to check to make sure that they are still on and intact.
Has anybody had experience of using this product and if so did you have difficulties? I’d like to hear from you.
Sometime ago a regular visitor at that time, Finn Frode, wrote a page about this product which you can read here. It’s quite a popular page by the way. Finn dislikes claw caps.
If I am correct about the potential difficulties with nail caps they are still far better than declawing. That must be the case although Finn Frode disagrees.